SIERRA CLUB – Award-winning actor Harrison Ford and author Douglas Brinkley are the latest to join a long list of well-known scientists, writers, actors and other thought leaders in calling on the Obama administration to reconsider plans to remove grizzly bears in the Yellowstone region from the endangered species list.
“We are writing to thank you for your leadership on climate change and to ask for your help: Yellowstone grizzly bears are in grave danger,” they write in a letter to President Obama.
“Your administration has regrettably taken steps to strip the bear’s federal protections under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), opening up a grizzly bear trophy hunt on the edges of Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone’s bears are a remnant and isolated population. They must be allowed to wander safely outside of Yellowstone National Park.
“Americans would never permit hunting of America’s bald eagle; hunting Yellowstone grizzly bears is equally unacceptable.
“To make matters worse, America’s great bears face the same looming threats as many species across the country due to climate change. In the last decade, climate change has decimated the Yellowstone grizzly’s most important food, the white bark pine nut.”
The letter further urges the administration to take another look at how climate change impacts grizzly bears.
“Any decision about the bear’s future should be put on hold until independent scientific review can explore potential impacts to bears from climate change. We strongly suspect that America’s great bears face a dire future, even with the continued protection of the Endangered Species Act.”
The letter was spearheaded by Guggenheim fellow Doug Peacock. Other signatories include:
Professor Edward O. Wilson, Harvard University, Museum of Comparative Zoology
George B. Schaller, Panthera Corporation and Wildlife Conservation Society
Jane Goodall, Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace
Michael Soule, Professor Emeritus, Univ. of California, Santa Cruz
Friends of the Yellowstone ecosystem
Jeff Bridges, Academy Award-winning actor
Douglas Brinkley, Author and professor of history
Yvon Chouinard, Founder of Patagonia, Inc.
Michael Finley, Former superintendent Yellowstone National Park
Harrison Ford, Award-winning actor
Carl Hiaasen, Journalist, author
Michael Keaton, Award-winning actor
Thomas McGuane, American Academy of Arts & Letters
N. Scott Momaday, Pulitzer Prize winner
Terry Tempest Williams, Author and Guggenheim fellow
Ted Turner, Philanthropist and conservationist